A Holiday at Home

Steven’s Story 

Santa visiting the Kerian family.

At three years old, Pat and Larry Kerian’s son Steven was Hospice of the Red River Valley’s first ever pediatric patient in 1991. Steven had an AV malformation of the brainstem and was cared for by Hospice at home with his parents and two brothers. Pat and Larry were grateful to be spending time together with Steven, as a family. “We wanted to try and keep the family together as much as we could, and to have Steven at home as long as we could, and spend as many moments we could have with him,” expressed Pat.

Just before Christmas, Hospice of the Red River Valley coordinated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to bring Steven and his family a visit from Santa. During that visit, Steven was gifted a stuffed cat, which he cherished closely. The Kerian family was also gifted a sleigh horse bell which they continue to hang on their Christmas tree every year, reminding them of these last memories with Steven.

Pat and Larry Kerian holding a photo of their son Steven.

The Hospice nurses, doctors and volunteers that cared for Steven also provided an immense amount of support to the Kerian family. “There’s a saying, ‘care for the caregiver,’” said Larry, “it was a real blessing.” Hospice of the Red River Valley helped the Kerian family through the care of Steven, his passing and also in the grief that followed.

“They provided support before, during, and after, and all along the way. And you don’t feel isolated or lonely, you have people that you can talk to,” stated Pat. Following Steven’s passing, the Kerian family went through grief support counseling provided by Hospice of the Red River Valley which focuses on providing resources for families to help them cope with their grief and work towards healing.

“They were present with us,” said Pat, “they just went above and beyond.”

Though their son was cared for many years ago, Pat and Larry continue to actively support and advocate for Hospice of the Red River Valley. Pat volunteers with Hospice, visiting nursing homes and patient homes, noting what a privilege it is to be there for those in need.

Larry states, “I know there are people out there that have a heart to help other people and are looking for a way to help other people. And this is certainly a wonderful way of providing comfort and assistance to somebody in need.”

Provide a Holiday at Home 

The holiday season can cause many different emotions and feelings. For some, it can bring an immense amount of joy and happiness being surrounded by friends and family. For others, it can be a bittersweet time reflecting on the memories of loved ones who have passed.

At Hospice of the Red River Valley, we’ve had the privilege of providing care and support to families for over 40 years. We know that losing a loved one is never easy. That’s why we are so thankful for the opportunity to provide support and counseling to families thanks to those who support us. Our support extends to everyone, regardless of age. Your support makes a difference in the lives of those in our community.

Your support is significant in ensuring that families like the Kerian’s can also receive the care and support they need and spend holidays at home. You play a pivotal role in providing essential resources for grief counseling, assisting rural communities, facilitating community education and sustaining a volunteer program of over 350 volunteers who selflessly contribute to our mission every day.

Serving over 50 counties in North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota as a nonprofit hospice, could only be possible through the generous support of families, businesses and communities like you. To all of you, we say thank you!

As we approach the end of the year, we kindly ask you to consider making an end-of-year gift to support Hospice of the Red River Valley. Your contribution will enable us to continue to care for all who need us – for children like Steven, and anyone who needs comfort and care through life’s journey. Thank you for being an essential part of our Hospice family.


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